Drilling hole in cast brass - how?

dilettante_gwOctober 8, 2008

Hi --

I had a missing part custom-made of cast brass for an old chandelier, but I didn't realize until I had it hung that the replacement part needed to have a small hole for a glass prism. Is it possible for me to drill the hole myself with a standard corded drill? Do I need a special drill bit to drill cast brass? I'm sure the foundry that made the piece for me could handle this for me, but it's not very convenient for me to get to. I don't want to risk ruining the part, though, by messing with it myself.


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Can you put the piece in a vice? Your problem is that brass is often soft, and the drill grabs and then breaks. Put it in a vice and go slow, light pressure. Should work out well.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 4:04PM
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Thanks. I'll try that. Do I need a special bit?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 4:27PM
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A drill with a positive rake will tend to grab in brass. There are special straight flute brass drills drills with no no positive rake on the cutting edge of the drill lip. MSC is one source of these drills. You also can regrind a normal dill to remove the positive rake.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 6:22PM
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How thick is the piece??

Start with a smaller bit as your pilot hole

It shouldn't GRAB in cast brass...keep the drill straight, this will help

No special bit needed, but a quality bit would help, as well as some cutting fluid

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 11:36AM
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